Bob was a quiet man. It was hard to get him to talk. You would ask him a question and he would wait for his wife to bail him out. I figured something out though. There was one thing Bob didn’t let his wife speak for him about: The Cincinnati Reds. He knew every player. He knew every manager. He knew every statistic. He knew Riverfront Stadium. He knew the legends and the lore the history and the future prospects of the Reds. He had a radio by his chair and he listened to Marty Brenneman and the Old Left-hander, Joe Nuxall call every play of every game. He knew the Reds inside and out. If there was a bench-clearing brawl he knew which of the relievers in the bull-pen that was most likely to dive into the pile and come out with someone’s ear in his mouth. He was an expert.
Most of you know that I am the pastor of a church. The church is named Good News! Evangel! I have a dream for this church. I have a dream of a church named Evangel-Good News Baptist—Gospel Baptist—that lives boldly up to her name. A church with 600 members and growing where hundreds of members know the Gospel like Bob knew the Cincinnati Reds.
This year I am preaching through the Epistle to the Romans. One of my main objectives is to use it to train our people to be experts in believing, applying and explaining the gospel. We are going to take a fresh look at the Gospel today and in the weeks to follow an in-depth view… We are going to study the book of the Bible with the clearest and most extended treatment of the gospel. We are going to get our advanced certification in Gospel. I want the members and friends of Evangel to be experts in explaining the gospel.
We have a little strategy at Evangel we call it Operation Evangel. It goes like this: Pray, Love, Invite, Gospel Conversation. It is amazing what can happen in whole families when you simply pray for people, look for ways to love them, invite them to church and into your life, and have natural give-and-take conversations that include clear explanations of the gospel.
Last night two young ladies stood to sing a beautiful song. Before they sang one of them said, “We knew each other before either of us were walking with the Lord. Now here we are in the same church. Because of the diligent love or our members these women and their families came to be followers of Jesus. I baptized all of them right here at Evangel.
What in the world do you know that more important then making the way to heaven clear to people? What in this world is more important than that?
Who are you praying for?
Who are you loving?
Who are you inviting?
Who are you engaging in gospel conversation?
March 17, 2014